Dental hygienists and dental therapists are trained, indemnified and competent in the use of certain prescription only medicines. The mechanisms by which they use these medicines are varied and currently they can administer, sell and supply only by a patient specific direction (PSD) or a patient group directive (PGD). These mechanisms have advantages and disadvantages and the profession have decided to unite to find a more effective solution to providing these medicines in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) and the British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT) have been working on the NHS England project to change legislation and in collaboration with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Governments, and are now consulting the public on proposed changes to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 to include the use by dental hygienists and therapists of a mechanism called exemptions.
Being able to use the exemptions mechanism will mean that:
- Dental hygienists and dental therapists will be able to supply and administer certain medicines to patients that would normally need a prescription from a dentist.
- Dentists would be relieved of an administration burden.
- Fewer patients would be turned away for treatment due to changes in their needs.
- The dental hygienist or dental therapist would be able to treat their patient with the medicines they are trained, indemnified and competent to use in a timely fashion, resulting in fewer appointments with less costs incurred by patients and dental practices.
- There is a reduction in the number of interruptions to a dentist to ask them to prescribe a medicine.
This would help dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists to provide safer, quicker and more comfortable care for their patients.
The Public Consultation can be found www.england.nhs.uk/medicines-2/chief-professions-officers-medicines-mechanisms-programme
And the consultation surveys will also be able to be accessed directly from the NHS England consultation hub from Thursday October 15, 2020 onwards at www.engage.england.nhs.uk